Adult Fleas are about 1/16 to 1/8-inch long, dark reddish brown to black, wingless, hard-bodied (difficult to crush between fingers), have three pairs of legs (hind legs enlarged enabling jumping) and are flattened vertically or side to side allowing easy movement between the hair, fur or feathers of the host. Fleas are excellent jumpers, leaping vertically up to seven inches and horizontally thirteen inches. They have piercing-sucking mouthparts and spines on the body projecting backward. Larvae are 1/4-inch long, slender, straw-colored, brown headed, wormlike, bristly-haired creatures that are legless, have chewing mouthparts, are active, and avoid light. Pupae are enclosed in silken cocoons covered with particles of debris. Unlike most Fleas the Cat Flea remains on its host during feeding, mating, and egg laying. Cat Fleas lay about 25 to 50 eggs a day. Cat Flea Eggs are oval and white about 1/32". The eggs are smooth and easily fall from the pet and land carpet, furniture and bedding. Cat Flea eggs hatch in about 3-4 days. Flea Larvae are a small hairy worm about 3/16", brown with no legs. They feed on dried blood and excrement adult Fleas produce while feeding on the pet. They are larvae for about 1-2 weeks then build a silken cocoon where they turn into adult Fleas. Hair, skin, carpet fibers and other debris cover cocoon making them almost impossible to see. At normal room temperatures, the entire life cycle of a flea can occur in about 18 days but can be extended for over a year as described in detail above. An adult Cat Flea can live about 40 days on an animal. During spring and summer you will always find more Fleas. Flea Control in Rhode Island can generally be kept to the interior and the pet. Yards in Rhode Island for the most part are not real suitable locations for Fleas, with the exception of a shaded area where your pet may spend a lot of time.
There are four common fleas. The Cat Flea, Dog Flea, Rat Flea and the Human Flea. Cat Fleas, the most common are less than 1/8". They are a reddish Brown to black. They look flattened and do not have wings. Fleas have little backward facing hairs that help them move through the hairs of animals. They have six legs, the two back legs are much longer and made for jumping. Flea Larvae are less than 1/4", legless, and a dirty white color. A good place to find flea larvae is in pet bedding or any place the pet spends a lot of time.
Yes all Fleas Bite. Fleas need a blood meal to reproduce. Fleas prefer a host with thick hair or fur but if an animal is not around they will feed on people.
Flea Bites look different on every person and some people do not react at all. For the most part a Flea bite will give a small, red, itchy bump. These bites are usually on the ankles and lower legs. People with allergies may suffer from hives, rashes or severe itching. Allergic reactions may last a week or more.
Fleas that have fed on Mice, Rats, Squirrels, Bats or other Rodents may transmit diseases, including plague and murine typhus. Because of this you may need a rodent problem or Raccoon or other wild animal addressed as well, especially if you do not have any pets. Cat Fleas do not carry plague. Cobra Pest Control has a control program for all of the Pest problems.
Black specks on your pet, in their bedding or on your bed. This is Adult Flea Fecal Matter, basically dried blood. This is what the larvae stage feeds on. A good way to check is to put as much of these specks as you can into a clear glass of water. If it turns into reddish cloud you at least have Flea fecal matter. Another sign is pets scratching, your pet may become very nervous, annoyed and may scratch excessively. Bites on people from the knee down is a sign.
There are a number of ways a person can get Fleas. The most common is from your pet, a cat that roams or a dog that you walk on a leash may pick them up. A wild animal like Raccoons, Opossums, Skunks, Squirrels and others, including your neighbors cat may visit your yard and drop off some Flea eggs, Flea larvae or an Adult Flea. Mice, Rats or Bats may sneak in with Fleas as well. Also a Flea may just jump on your leg from just about anywhere you have walked that day.
The very best and first thing you need is An understanding of the Flea Life Cycle and their habits. Fleas go through 4 stages; egg, larvae, pupa and adult. In an ideal situation for a Flea it will spend its entire Adult life on a host in the fur, never leaving the animal. The Adult Flea will lay eggs and the eggs will fall of the animal wherever the animal may be. The egg will hatch into larvae or a worm. The larvae will crawl out of traffic areas and feed on dried blood and skins flakes. The larvae will then turn into the pupa stage or a cocoon. This is the start of when control gets difficult. In about a week this cocoon will have an Adult Flea just waiting for a victim to walk by so it can break out of the Pupa case right on to the victim and start the whole process over again. This is why control gets difficult.. The Flea can stay in the Pupa stage for over a year and survive protected. No matter what a Pesticide Company label claims there is no product that will kill the pupa stage. There are products that can affect growth or cover the pupa with something that will kill when the Flea breaks out, but these products won't last as long as a Flea can in the pupa stage. You have to provide some type of movement, walking, sweeping or vacuuming to make the Flea break out of the stage and into the product. This should be done several times over a 2 week period